Could you have £10k in the attic? These 30 vinyl albums are worth a mint
PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 July 2020 | UPDATED: 18:12 05 July 2020
Three East Anglian record store owners reveal popular records with surprising values. By Nick Richards
Britain’s lofts, garages, spare rooms and cellars have never felt so much love as they have in the past three months. If lockdown has had you rummaging around among your possessions, you may have blown the dust off your long lost record collection, or if you’re still a regular collector, you may have been having a good old reorganisation.
Either way, there’s probably some gems in there worth a bit of money.
It was around 40 years ago that record sales first began to dwindle – cassettes took a share of the market and gradually, as compact discs became the format of choice for recorded music through the late 80s and into this current century, our love affair with vinyl records started to wane.
With the digital download age dominating the first decade of the 21st century the value in second hand records dipped - nobody wanted these large relics of past times when they could own a file containing dozens of tracks and store it on a computer hard drive.
I, for one, can remember seeing original David Bowie albums in record shops for £3 each 20 years ago while car boot sales and charity shops were the place to pick up unwanted slices of music history as people of all ages shunned the shellac.
Now it’s a different story. Around 10 years ago vinyl records became popular again. Record Store Day was one reason, the other was that longing to actually physically own music once again - a reaction to the digital age, perhaps.
Either way, record collecting went full circle and spun back into our lives. They started appearing in shops like Urban Outfitters and John Lewis, and supermarket giants Tesco and Sainsbury’s wanted a piece of the action.
Records and record players have even been sold in Aldi.
HMV went from displaying a couple of dozen titles to devoting a huge part of their store to records, turntables and plastic sleeves for collectors to keep their purchases in.
While millions of new vinyl records have been purchased in the last decade, the value here is in older records. With the help of three music experts and East Anglian record shop owners, who specialise in selling old records, we’ve compiled a Top 30 of records that you may have tucked away in your house that have a good value.
We’re not really talking mega bucks or mega rare records or releases that are niche and appeal to a small proportion of collectors.
These are records by artists you’ve certainly heard of which, for a variety of reasons have a good price that collectors are willing to pay.
Value is, of course, relative. One man’s unplayed copy of Black Lace’s Agadoo may have more value than a scratched-to-death copy of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.
What we have here is a list of records that, in good condition, have seen their values shoot up dramatically since the day they were originally released.
Some are old records that collectors want to find in unplayed or near perfect condition, others are more recent releases from a time when people preferred to buy music on CD and generally left the vinyl version of that release sitting on the shelves.
So here, John Naylor of Beatniks, Andrew Worsdale of Holt Vinyl Vault and Eric White of Out of Time,reveal those hidden nuggets that may be lurking among your collection.
1) Sex Pistols: God Save The Queen - £10,000
John: “OK you probably already know the story of this controversial single and how it went to number two in the charts but who remembers what beat it to number 1?..Rod Stewart’s I Don’t Want to Talk about It - and I don’t because it’s scandalous
Before the Sex Pistols signed to Virgin, A&M Records released a small quantity of the 7” single and it’s value? Are you sitting down? Over £10,000.”
2) The Beatles: Please Please Me - £6,000
Andrew: “Does your Beatles 1963 original come with a black and gold (rather than yellow) label? £1,200 for a mono, or five times that for a stereo copy.”
3) Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin - £1,500
Andrew: “If you’ve got a copy of the Zep’s debut with turquoise rather than orange lettering, it’s worth a nice sum. How does £1.500 sound?”
4) Iron Maiden: The Soundhouse Tapes - £1,000
John: “Everyone has heard of heavy metal legends Iron Maiden but did you know their first 7” was self-released and now worth a staggering £1,000 in mint condition? Get searching.”
5) Pink Floyd: The Dark Side Of The Moon - £1,000
Andrew: “Look for a solid light (not dark) blue prism on the label, distinguishing a first press, and yours could be worth upwards of £1,000.”
6) The Who: The Who Sell Out - £800
Andrew: “Recognise Pete from The Who Sell Out, 1968? The sticker says the poster’s inside, but it’s long gone, so you can drop a zero from that £800 price tag, sadly!”
7) The Congos: Heart of the Congos - £750
Andrew: “This Jamaican reggae classic is our priciest item at present, but it sounds just as good as a £40 UK reissue!”
8) The Velvet Underground & Nico: The Velvet Underground & Nico - £600
Andrew: “You’ll pay £15 for a picture disc version of the greatest ever debut album, or 20 times that if yours is a 1968 original with a peelable banana on the front cover!”
9) King Crimson: In The Court of the Crimson King - £600
Andrew: “King Crimson: you probably need to wind back your tongue. There are so many variations of this fabulous album, but yours will need a pink label for starters to have a chance of being worth £600.”
10) The Beatles: Revolver - £350
Eric: “Regarded by the majority of Beatles fans as the band’s best,this LP has always been available on vinyl with many variations. Collectors are always seeking the best condition original earliest 1966 mono issues with the slightly longer version of the track Tomorrow Never Knows and should expect to be around £350 for the best examples.”
11) Black Sabbath: Paranoid - £100
Eric: “The band’s second LP from 50 years ago which although a number one album, most copies were played a lot and rarely turn up in decent condition. The earliest editions were on the Vertigo label that had a black ‘swirl’ design on a white background. Really excellent copies can sell for £100. Certain label variations at least twice this price.”
12) Miles Davis: Kind of Blue - £100
Eric: “The biggest selling and best jazz album of all now just over 60 years old still selling constantly. Easily obtainable as a new repress for around £15, original UK first pressings on the Fontana label are rare with stereo editions especially desirable changing hands at £100.”
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13) Robbie Williams: Greatest Hits - £100
John: “This came out in 2004 and went to Number One all over the world but again if you bought this album by the Take That star it was probably on CD and now in every charity shop in East Anglia. But if you bought it on vinyl it’s now worth over £100.”
14) Oasis: Definitely Maybe - £100
John: “The undisputed kings of Britpop, Oasis released this in 1994 and it set them on their way to being one of the biggest bands in the world. It was the fastest selling UK debut album of all time and if you were one of the lucky ones to buy it on LP you are sitting on another £100.”
15) Pulp: Different Class - £100
John: “Along with Oasis and Blur, Pulp defined the Britpop scene. They had been around longer than the others forming way back in the late 70s. It was the single Common People that made them household names and if you bought the wax for this one it’s now worth well over £100.”
16) The Undertones: Teenage Kicks - £100
John: “Well known for being John Peel’s favourite single, less known for first being released by an independent record shop in Northern Ireland called Good Vibrations. The original 7” was on coloured paper and simply stamped with black ink and folded around the vinyl. Its value...well over £100.”
17) Joy Division - Closer - £90
Andrew: “Does your copy of Joy Division’s Closer bathe your bedroom in a red glow when you hold it up against the ceiling light? If so, you could triple that £30.”
18) The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds - £75
Eric: “Fairly level pegging with the Beatles’ Revolver album for the best album ever made accolade and both from the greatest year for music 1966. It is tough to find an original copy that has not had many plays. Look out for the Capitol ‘rainbow rim’ labels with the wording ‘sold in the UK’ to the left of the labels. Mono originals £75.”
19) Nirvana: Nevermind - £60
John: “The Grunge legends; everyone knows the front cover with the baby in the swimming pool with the dollar bill floating in front, it’s one of the most iconic LP images of all time and one of the best rock albums of all time. Its value, £60.”
20) David Bowie: The Laughing Gnome - £60
Andrew: “The only thing distinguishing a 1967 original from a 1973 reissue is an inverted matrix number (DR 39798). That’s the difference between £5 and £60.”
21) Queen - A Night At The Opera - £60
Andrew: “Does your Queen original have a ‘cut’ corner on the inner sleeve or a rounded one? Don’t sweat: it’s only the difference between £60 or £25.”
22) Dusty Springfield: Dusty in Memphis - £50
Eric: “Everyone knows the single from this masterpiece, Son of a Preacher Man, but the album failed to sell in large quantities in 1969. The first pressings on Philips have black labels. Cherished copies that have rarely been on a turntable will sell for £50.”
23) Spice Girls: Spice - £50
John: “Released in 1996, Spicemania was like Beatlemania all over again going on to sell millions of copies worldwide. If you were lucky to buy this on vinyl rather than CD it’s now worth £50.”
24) David Bowie: Aladdin Sane - £50
Eric: “No list of desirable and in-demand artists list is complete without the much missed singer/songwriter. Those that raced to the shops first in 1973 found a fan club mail order insert inside which most filled in and sent away. Retained ones with unblemished vinyl and a clean gatefold cover plus photo inner sleeve make about £50.”
25) Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti - £40
Eric: “All first editions of the band’s albums are a sound investment. Although not as valuable as certain editions of the first two albums, this 1975 double album’s special windows type cover and special inner sleeves are hard to find in undamaged condition. Tip top conditions of first editions make a swift £40.”
26) Guns N’ Roses: Appetite For Destruction - £40
John: “This came out in 1987 and gave heavy metal music a real kick up the backside. Their stunning debut mixes glam metal and punk to astonishing results. The first release of this vinyl had a cover that was withdrawn and if you purchased the ‘robot’ sleeve original it’s now worth £40.”
27) Frank Zappa: Hot Rats - £30
Eric: “Considered by many as his finest album with all manner of styles of music included, this sold very well in this country in 1969. but the first edition was on a multicolour Reprise steamboat design label with the amusing ‘POP SERIES’ slogan. Barely played copies with clean covers can sell for £30.”
28) Pink Floyd: The Wall - £30
Eric: “Over 40 years old and although earlier albums are significantly more valuable,this double album complete with removable PVC transfer on the cover, curved edge,s lyrics inner sleeves and spotless vinyl are fast sellers at around £30.”
29) Madonna: Like A Virgin - £25
Eric: “The picture disc craze was at its height in the 1980s and many of Madonna’s releases had such editions. Most will have jumps and terrible surface noise which fans overlook as the opportunity to frame up this iconic photo on a 12” disc is always attractive. £25 is the lowest likely price if you have a lucky face.”
30) New Order: Blue Monday - £20
John: “Possibly the greatest 12” single in history and also one of the best selling, the only trouble for Factory Records was that it cost more to make than they sold it for! Peter Saville’s iconic cut-out sleeve is as recognisable as the pulsating drum beats that start the song. Everyone bought this for about a pound, it’s now worth up to £20.”
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